MRSA widow attacks 'filthy' hospital

A GRIEVING widow whose husband died at Ipswich hospital after contracting MRSA has today claimed it is "filthy". Phyllis McBride, of Coltsfoot Road, Ipswich, says she was so disgusted with the dirt on her husband's ward she even requested a bucket to clean up.

A GRIEVING widow whose husband died at Ipswich hospital after contracting MRSA has today claimed it is "filthy".

Phyllis McBride, of Coltsfoot Road, Ipswich, says she was so disgusted with the dirt on her husband's ward she even requested a bucket to clean up.

Her desperation followed her husband's diagnosis with MRSA pneumonia, a condition which finally claimed his life on July 28.

She claimed: "The corridors are never cleaned at the weekends. You see blood, coffee stains and tea and some people who visit stick a note on the floor with a date on it to see how long it takes to clean it.

"You can't smell disinfectant.

"I just want people to know how filthy it is."

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John McBride was already weak when he was admitted to hospital in May with fluid on his lungs. He was being treated for myeloma (cancer of the bone) and asthma and also only had one kidney.

It was when his condition deteriorated and he was put on dialysis that his wife believes he contracted the superbug.

Mrs McBride, 74, said: "He developed a bad cough and they said they had to move him into a side ward.

"They said he had a chest infection but immediately I guessed what it was.

"They gave me a leaflet about isolation and I said it's that MRSA isn't it and they said yes.

"They said with the myeloma that I at least would have had another 18 months to two years with him - I have been robbed of my husband."

Mr McBride was allowed to return home after six or seven weeks but when he returned to hospital for dialysis he was admitted again.

Mrs McBride added: "I think he caught the bug again and went from bad to worse.

"He couldn't breathe and they stuck needles upon needles into him.

"I really do think that my husband just went in with a bit of fluid on his lung and now I end up going to his funeral. I don't think that should ever happen to anybody.

"Maybe if he had been a bit stronger he might have been able to fight it but he hung on as long as he could."

MRSA is sited as the primary cause of death on Mr McBride's death certificate though cancer and renal failure are listed as contributory factors.

Mrs McBride believes her husband contracted the illness because of a lack of hygiene and cleanliness at the hospital.

She claimed: "The corridors are never cleaned at the weekends. You see blood, coffee stains and tea and some people who visit stick a note on the floor with a date on it to see how long it takes to clean it.

"You can't smell disinfectant.

"I just want people to know how filthy it is."

Jan Rowsell, a spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital, said it was not possible to ascertain whether Mr McBride contracted the illness in the hospital without a full investigation as the bacteria is commonly found on people's skin.

She said: "We take these concerns very seriously indeed and we urge the family to get in touch with us so we can carefully investigate every aspect.

"There are 8,000 people on site every day in the hospital and it is the size of a small town. It is a mammoth task to make sure every area is as it should be and it is a challenge we want to meet and should meet."

She also said the hospital was working in partnership with cleaning and catering company OCS and modern matrons were in place to respond to individual concerns.

She said there was no evidence of stickers being left on the floor and added: "We really urge people, if they see something wrong, to bring it to our attention straight away that way we can take action immediately."

This case comes just weeks after a damning report revealed health professionals across the country are not doing enough to target hospital infections such as MRSA.

The report from the National Audit Office (NAO) stated that four years on from the first report the picture across the country is bleak and has uncovered what has been described as an "appalling lack of progress by the Department of Health and the NHS in tackling hospital acquired infection".

What do you think of Ipswich Hospital? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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